Two out of three ain’t bad.
We are now officially just one day away from the ending of one of the most anticipated recruitments in the history of Kentucky football. Drew Barker will be making his decision tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm EST.
So what kind of impact will Drew Barker’s decision have?
From a personnel perspective, UK is not in a position where they absolutely need Drew Barker. UK has a quarterback most likely for the next three years with either Jalen Whitlow, Patrick Towles, or Max Smith. UK could even stretch it out over the next five years by redshirting Reese Phillips, and redshirting one of the three who are competing for the starting position this year to be the starter when the other two guys graduate. Even if UK does not add a quarterback, they’ll be fine for this year.
From a recruiting QB standpoint, UK actually is not hurting in terms of getting a good quarterback. UK has been linked with several top quarterbacks, but have not yet offered as they have made Drew Barker the priority. Still, UK has plenty of time to get involved with quarterbacks such as DJ Gillins, DeShone Kizer, and Chandler Kincade. Now, it is UK’s opinion (and my own), that Barker has a higher potential than those guys and would be better in this system, but having those guys as back up options isn’t exactly a bad thing. If you look at the Chrystal Ball feature on 247, most of the national analysts have already predicted DJ Gillins to UK. You may remember he was originally committed to Neal Brown at Texas Tech before re-opening his recruitment.
With all of that said, Drew Barker is still a must get recruit for a few reasons. For one thing, he’s one of the highest recruited players from the state of Kentucky in some time, and this is Mark Stoops’ first time going toe to toe with some national powers for a previously uncommitted recruit in his own state. Yes he worked wonders to get Jason Hatcher, and yes he did a great job getting Ryan Timmons, but this thing is on a different level. If Stoops can seal the border and keep Barker home in Kentucky, it could have an impact throughout the state for years to come. (Even if he doesn’t get it, he’ll still have a chance to beat Alabama out for Matt Elam.)
From a 2014 recruiting standpoint, getting Drew Barker is absolutely huge. There are highly rated recruits all over southern Ohio, Georgia, Florida, and other places in the South that are strongly considering UK, and having Drew Barker on board to help recruit those guys is key. This is especially true for skill position players like Derek Kief, and Braxton Berrios. These are highly rated guys who are on a different level than the skill position players that UK has been getting over recent years. Getting Barker would be huge, HUGE, in helping lure those guys to Lexington.
Finally, we talked earlier about how from a personnel standpoint, UK may not need him, but that doesn’t mean UK doesn’t WANT him. Barker is the kind of guy who could be a 3+ year starter at UK. It may be tough for him to come in and compete for a starting spot his Freshman year, but if he’s open to a redshirt, he would have the ability to challenge, and lock down, the starting spot by his Sophomore season. No offense to Reese Phillips, but Barker coming to UK likely makes him a career back up. But of course, with the way UK quarterbacks have gone recently, there’s still plenty of playing time even there. Still, there is a different era for UK football.
So make no mistake, UK will be fine without Barker, should he decide to go to South Carolina. Still, UK will be MUCH better off should Barker pick up a Kentucky hat on Friday at 3:30.
Go Big Blue!
Category: Kentucky Recruits